Zotac GeForce GTX 1060 Amp! Edition
The number of GTX 1060 graphic card variants that have launched since the time Nvidia unveiled the original Founders’ Edition is overwhelming. This is a hot segment that is seeing a lot of action as we speak. The Pascal architecture is a big leap from the Maxwell architecture. Progressing series wise, the GeForce GTX 1060 is the successor to the GTX 960, adding support for DirectX 12 and Virtual Reality games.
Here are the basic specifications of GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card.
|GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB||GeForce GTX 1060 3 GB||GeForce GTX 960|
|NVIDIA CUDA Cores||1280||1152||1024|
|Frame Buffer||6 GB GDDR5||3 GB GDDR5||2 GB GDDR5|
|Memory Speed||8 Gbps||8 Gbps||7 Gbps|
The Zotac GeForce GTX 1060 Amp! Edition
In this article, we are specifically looking at the Zotac GeForce GTX 1060 Amp! Edition. This is one of the two GTX 1060 chipsets that Zotac is offering. The Zotac GTX 1060 Amp! is certainly tinier than other GTX 1060 cards that we’ve seen. This GTX 1060 chipset is likely aimed at mid-tier and compact builds. The card’s length does not exceed 8.27 inches, making it suitable for micro-ATX and ITX builds.
A small graphics card means less area for heat sinks. This means that manufacturers have to manage the card’s cooling keeping the size in mind. Having said that, the GTX 1060 Amp! Edition features a custom PCB and cooler, with a twin fan cooling solution. The length of the casing of the two fans exceeds that of the PCB. Zotac’s effort to reduce the size of the GPU here are evident. They’ve done so without sacrificing on the cooling aspect of the GPU. The small form factor plays a major aspect specifically for the GTX 1060, which has cousins from other manufacturers considerably larger than this card.
The Zotac GTX 1060 Amp! Edition features two 90mm fans. Both of these fans have a wider than usual blade, that helps in increasing airflow to the heatsink. I/O panel in the Zotac GTX 1060 Amp! Edition has 3 DisplayPort, 1 HDMI 2.0b and 1 DVI-D connectors. This means that the GPU has support for upto 4 simultaneous displays.
With a closer look at the the PCB and the heatsink, the first observation I have is how minimalist the design of the Zotac GTX 1060 Amp! Edition is. It has no frills, and is meant to do its only job, the best way it can. This also helps in the keeping the cost of this GPU low. Being a mid-tier graphics card, the GTX 1060 Amp! Edition does not come fitted with LED lights. If that matters to you, you’ll have to look elsewhere. Personally, to me, the lighting gag does matter initially, but the excitement fades away and I stop caring for it in the long run.
Nvidia’s GTX 1060 is built on the GP106 GPU architecture with 1280 CUDA cores, as mentioned in the table above. In comparison, the GTX 1080 comes with 2560 CUDA Cores, double that of the GTX 1060. Similarly, the GTX 1060 requires a power draw of around 120 Watts, compared to 150W and 180W for the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080.
Another aspect budget builders will love about the Zotac Amp! Edition is that it requies only a single 6-pin PCI-E connector. This will appeal massively to budget builders, who have to make to with budget power supply units which have limited PCI-E connectors and wattage. You can easily rock the Zotac GTX 1060 Amp! Edition on a 350W power supply unit, although Zotac officially recommends a 400W PSU.
Putting things in perspective, it is really amazing about Nvidia’s Pascal chipset delivers this level of performance at menial power draws. Things were much different during the Maxwell period. The GTX 980Ti for example, in comparison, alone consumes about 500W of power. That is almost double that of the GTX 1060. The 980Ti performs only about 15-20% faster than the GTX 1060.
Here is our GPU-Z screenshot.
The clock speeds of the Zotac Amp! Edition are 1557 Mhz and 1772 Mhz for the base and the boost clock. These clocks are marginally higher than the clocks found on the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition. Compared to the ASUS Strix GTX 1060, the clocks are slightly lower.
|GPU||GeForce® GTX 1060|
|Video Memory||6GB GDDR5|
|Engine Clock||Base: 1556 MHz/Boost:1771 MHz|
|Memory Clock||8 GHz|
|Display Outputs||3 x DisplayPort/1.4 HDMI 2.0b/DL-DVI|
|Multi Display Capability||Quad Display|
|Recommended Power Supply||400W|
|DirectX||12 API feature level 12_1|
|Cooling||Dual Fan IceStorm|
|Slot Size||Dual Slot|
|Supported OS||Windows 10 / 8 / 7|
|Card Length||210mm x 128mm|
|Accessories||Dual 4-pin to 6-pin adapter/User Manual|
Our test system for the Zotac GeForce GTX 1060 Amp! Edition is an above-average budget system. This is to signify a performance closer to the real world scenarios. We don’t expect the Zotac GeForce GTX 1060 Amp! Edition to be paired with top-end CPUs, RAMs and motherboards. So, we used the ones that make a more realistic sense for this specific graphics card.
CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K @ 3.40GHz
Motherboard: MSI B85M-G43 (MS-7823)
RAM: 8 GB DDR3 @ 800Mhz (9-10-9-26)
HDD: 1TB Western Digital WDC WD1003FZEX
OS: Windows 8 (build 9200) 64bit
GPU: Zotac GTX 1060 Amp! Edition, XFX Radeon RX460, GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition
Monitor: BenQ G2220HD (1920×1080@60Hz)
Benchmarks: 3DMark, Uniengine Valley, Deus Ex Mankind Divided (DX11), Bioshock: Infinite, Rise of the Tomb Raider (DX12), The Witcher 3
BIOS versions are the latest working. All drivers have been updated to their latest working versions.
You can clearly make out that our test bench has a very “budget” feel to it. We still feel our CPU is more on the performance end than the budget spectrum. Our RAM, monitor and motherboard fight right into the budget bracket. This should be very interesting. Let the games begin!
Here is our 3DMark Firestrike test. Check it out, people!
The Zotac GeForce GTX 1060 Amp! Edition sits exactly where it supposed to sit. A tad higher than the Founders Edition, and lower than the higher clocked Strix GTX 1060.
Again, this was expected.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Here is some good news. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, the hottest new game on the block right now, is playable at High Settings (DirectX 11). At the time of testing, The DX12 for the game wasn’t introduced. 53.7 average frames means a smooth experience. This is about 5% higher than the Founders Edition and about 8% lower than the GTX 1060 Strix. The low priced Radeon RX 460 also manages a playable 30 average frames per second.
You got it. The Zotac GTX 1060 Amp! kills Bioshock: Infinite. PS: If yogis designed the PC and its peripherals, they would have created just one model that ran everything absolutely perfectly. At the highest possible settings. A “low setting” preset would have never existed. That ain’t how yogis roll.
Rise of Tomb Raider
Here we get to test the DirectX 12 capabilities of the GTX 1060. To my surprise, all the GTX 1060 graphics cards performed excellently. I have to say that it has exceeded my expectations. Running Rise of Tomb Raider at Very High settings in DX12 is a feat. It does surprise me how badly the RX 460 has performed though, considering how Polaris has generally been good at handling DirectX 12.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
iLLGamers love The Witcher. Have you played the latest expansion, Blood and Wine? If you haven’t, well, you should. iLLReviewer Subhadip has written an excellent review of the farewell expansion to the Witcher series. The GTX 1060 does manage a playable frame rate. The 1060 GPUs are pretty close to the GTX 980Ti over here. Remember, they’re delivering that level of performance using only half the power that the GTX 980Ti uses.
Idle Scenario: Reading taken at idle state in Windows 10, 30 minutes after cold boot.
Idle Power Consumption: 62W
Under load scenario: While running 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme fixed benchmark.
At idle, the Zotac GeForce GTX 1060 Amp! Edition uses about 62Watts, which isn’t great, but isn’t terribly bad either. Under load is where the interesting numbers lie. The Zotac GeForce GTX 1060 Amp! Edition consumes 254Watts, while the GTX 1060 Strix consumes about 30Watts lower, and the same time delivers 5% more performance. But then again, at the price of a 1060 Strix, you can almost afford a GTX 1070 Founders Edition.
Under load, the Zotac GeForce GTX 1060 Amp! Edition manages to take the heat up. It’s hot man! At 76 degrees Celsius, it is about 6 degrees hotter than the GTX 1060 Founders Edition, and a massive 16 degrees hotter than the Strix 1060. The temperatures almost reach the level of the GTX 980Ti. There is a solid scientific reason for this though. The Zotac GeForce GTX 1060 Amp! Edition is a small form factor card. The other GTX 1060s that we are comparing the Zotac to in this review are considerably larger than the Zotac Amp!. A smaller card means lesser heat dissipation area. There is no need to worry though, 76 degrees isn’t a temperature you should be worried about. These GPUs are designed to handle constant 90 degrees temperatures.
We managed to overclock the Zotac GeForce GTX 1060 Amp! Edition considerably well. We got the base clock up from 1556 Mhz to 1775 Mhz. That is a massive 200 Mhz boost. The Boost clocks we could manage was 1900 Mhz from 1771 Mhz. This was the most stable frequency we could achieve. We were able to play Rise of Tomb Raider for 4 hours without any problems at these frequencies. Voltage tinkering wasn’t required. We used Zotac’s FireStorm utility for this, which worked flawlessly. This app is definitely more stable than it used to be.
There are many ways to look at this review, one, the GTX 1060 chipset, second, the Zotac Amp! Edition of the GPU. Nvidia’s GTX 1060 is pinned against the AMD’s Radeon RX 480, which we haven’t tested yet (PS: we will be soon). It would have given us more perspective if we had the RX 480 to compare with. We will update this review when we do finally benchmark it. Having said that, the GTX 1060 Pascal graphics card is definitely a leap ahead from the previous generation. It has clearly smoked the GTX 960, and is almost touching the number of the GTX 980Ti. That’s bringing ₹ 50,000 level performance to a price half of what it used to be, and that itself is a massive feat.
The GTX 1060 is a hot buy, because it sits in the price bracket that is most comfortable for mid-tier consumers, i.e. between the ₹ 20,000 – ₹ 30,000 price slab. One thing you can feel secure about the GTX 1060 is, this is THE CARD you should get if you want to game at 1080p. There is no practical need for anything more. You can enjoy beautiful graphics at 1080p of all the latest games. Even Deus Ex: Mankind Divided ran flawlessly at High Settings.
Talking about the Zotac GeForce GTX 1060 Amp! Edition, we feel this is a special graphics card with a unique place in the market. For builders looking to set up powerful compact rigs, the Zotac GeForce GTX 1060 Amp! Edition will be more than perfect. It runs pretty quite too, so small cabinet peeps can appreciate this more. At idle scenarios, the fan completely switches off, making the card absolutely silent. Almost all the GTX 1060 GPUs in the market are atleast a quarter more in length than the Zotac GeForce GTX 1060 Amp! Edition, so you can envision how big a feat Zotac has achieved by keeping the size extremely small, while delivering massive performance.
The Zotac GeForce GTX 1060 Amp! Edition is about 5-7% faster than the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition. Founders Edition GPUs can hardly be found in the open market. At ₹ 24,990, the Zotac GeForce GTX 1060 Amp! Edition is priced about ₹ 5,000 lower than the GTX 1060 Strix, with a size literally 2/3 of the later. That is a massive price difference. That doesn’t mean the Strix doesn’t deliver the goods, but its pricing is dangerously close to the GTX 1070 range. Having said that, this places the Zotac GeForce GTX 1060 Amp! Edition in the hot zone, one extremely desirable by the consumer. Go for the Zotac GeForce GTX 1060 Amp! Edition if you’re building a small rig, or if you want a good price/performance ratio modern dar graphics card, that runs everything at 1080p flawlessly.
We would like to thank Zotac for providing us a test unit of the Zotac GeForce GTX 1060 Amp! Edition.
The go-to GPU for 1080p performance
Runs considerably hotter than its competitors
Pascal's DirectX 12 performance isn't convincing, yet